Life Around The Corner

Choosing Life and Operating Happiness

America

This is the first time that I introduce my post to provide proper context for my words. I wrote this piece when I was nineteen and living in New Orleans. It was 2003, before Katrina hit. It was written in Hebrew and I translated it today, something I always wanted to do. In Hebrew the sentences rhyme and the sharp word games are lost in translation. I love America, the United States is my home. I am frightened to think how things are much worse now than they were when I wrote this. I also believe critical thinking is essential to making things better. By better, I mean a lot more happy people. I hope you enjoy my teen mind and thank you for reading.

America.
The land of absurdity,
The most incredible place on earth,
Filled with damned people,
Stumbling drunk
Towards an unknown cause.
Everything can be found here.
Everything,
Except real food
And real conversation.
People of all types are
Seemed to be covered in
Stinking cheddar cheese,
Hot and dripping BBQ sauce,
Slippery oily grease,
And so on.
Groomed streets are hiding
People’s filthy stables.
Radiant waste pouring out
From overflowing trash bins
To the backyard,
To the front of the street.
Mosquitoes’ cruel bites
Leave itchy, blushed scars.

America.
The land where you can’t drink
Under twenty one,
And can drop out of
Elementary school,
Hold a gun and shoot
Without recompense.
Shooting is allowed
And visioning is forbidden.
The land where the risks
Of liquor are sanctified
And the disasters
Of war are veiled.
Young soldiers who kill
Can’t drink to
Ease their pain,
In the land of logic
And liberty.
Drugs are abundant here,
As if they were barrels of
Flour, sugar, baking soda.
Like yeast they
Rise, expand, grow.

America.
The land where
Freedom
Enables you to become
A prisoner.
In order to succeed
One must go through
A world of suffering
And hardship.
Having to prove one’s self,
Without knowing
The true meaning
Of the words
“prove” and “self”.
Proving,
Not knowing to who.
Proving
Not knowing what.
Education amounts
To zero,
Absolute squat.
There is no future.
Thoughts of big numbers
Belong to the bill holders.
The land where
You grow up
And wish to become
Rich rather than happy,
Rich rather than professional,
Rich fast rather than human.
The hard work is
Disposing dead bodies
Off the road,
To cover for
A murder committed:
Of the body
Or the soul;
Keeping lies hidden,
While they start
To drip out of
Every possible hole
In a human body.

Americans.
Cheap nation
Wasting a fortune.
Education-less,
Ruling the world.
The vigilantes of freedom,
Robbing others of their
Freedom to live.
Great people, kind,
Filled with nothing.
Smiles dripping with
Dumbness, greed,
And unexplained,
Non-contained
Sadness and loneliness.
The ear that doesn’t listen,
Stuffed in
Colorful condiments;
The brain that doesn’t mind,
The mouth that
Knows no taste
Spatting endless, senseless words;
The heart that doesn’t feel,
The heart that doesn’t exist.

America.
The land of endless possibilities,
Incredible views,
Tremendous mountains and valleys
Where God resides,
Mocking his neighbors.
Unappreciated beauty,
Unexercised freedom,
Jesus without God,
Belief without the spiritual,
Alcohol without water,
Drugs without friends,
Children without marriage,
Or at least a home,
Violence without fraternity,
A man without a friend,
Hostility without sisterhood,
Feminism without femininity,
Pointless protests,
Freedom of speech
Without vocabulary.
Bullet to a gun,
Cocaine to a nose,
Drink to a a hand,
Then down a throat,
A girl is pregnant,
Keeping a baby,
And then another one,
And another one.
All the above
Coexist in perfect harmony,
Getting along.
The horrid race war:
Damned them all!
There is only one race,
And Yeshua
Won’t bring you yeshuah.

America.
A settlement without values,
an emptyless pit,
lacking substance,
In desperate need
To learn
Life’s meaning.

WRITTEN: 2003

21 responses to “America”

  1. Working over there for a number of years I found that the USA has many faces. Sometimes very frustrating, the racism was an issue, but there is also a friendly and caring USA. Hard to explain but you can move from one state to another and it can be like moving between two different countries. I was fortunate, working with students who were marvelous.

    • Yes I agree with you, it is so different from state to state. Where I am now is totally different than where I was 20 years ago, mentally as well. Then it was overwhelming for me. Today I understand how rooted capitalism is in the people here and I take everything in a more accurate context. There are wonderful people here and communities as well. I am so happy to be here, that is also why I feel some issues need to be brought up and discussed, and thank you so much for reading!! I really appreciate it

  2. Wonderful and all true. You might like “The Pure Products of America Go Crazy” by William Carlos Williams, you might like his style. I also thought of a Leonard Cohen song called “Democracy is Coming to the USA.” Good work and I liked the preface too. 👍👍

  3. I’m an American, and I have to admit you nailed this perfectly. I fear for my country. We’re on the road to authoritarianism and cult-like worship of a disgraced twice-impeached demagogue instead of fighting for democracy. Every day is filled with hatred, violence and worries of the future. I lived in Louisiana when Katrina hit (I was in Shreveport in the NW corner of the state), and I also lived in South Carolina for a while. I can attest that the south is not the best place to live if one loves democracy and desires fairness, compassion and justice. Your words are a biting indictment of the loss of American values and ideals, and I’m glad you penned this poem. America is in danger of becoming just another footnote in the history of failed democracies. Thank you for writing this.

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond! What you say makes me happy because that’s how we create change. It is very alarming and frightening to think about all the awful things that are going on and it’s up to us to lead by example with a better set of values 😊 for me the most frightening thing is that we are all so worn down by latest years, but we have to stay awake and we will prevail. thank you again

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